Many people dream of an exotic African safari; however, if this type of trip is on your bucket list, it’s important to do your homework. There are many companies that offer African safari tours, so knowing what you are looking for as well as choosing a reputable tour provider can make a big difference in your experience.
Is it safe?
This is a common question and one that many would-be travelers wonder about when contemplating the possibility of an African safari. If you’re like many people in the U.S., Africa is a continent that seems mysterious and somewhat dangerous. You’re probably thinking about seeing lions, elephants and other wild animals in their natural habitat; of course, using some caution is definitely in order. However, with an experienced tour operator, your African safari can be quite safe.
Even when you are not out on safari, it’s wise to take the same precautions you would take when visiting any foreign country. For example, you should make sure that you keep your wallet, passport and travel documents safe at all times. Additionally, avoid flashing large sums of money or wearing expensive jewelry that could draw unwanted attention.
If I take an African safari, what animals will I see?
The types of animals that you will see when on an African safari will definitely depend on your tour operator as well as the specific location of your safari. Companies, such as Kensington Tours, will typically have a variety of tours from which you can choose. You’ll find tours that include time exploring the beautiful Serengeti to the amazing Kapama Private Game Reserve, the Timbavati Game Reserve, or Kruger National Park among others.
While most areas will allow you to see a wonderful variety of wildlife, it’s important to understand that when considering an African safari, there are different regions. For example, there are safaris in South Africa, East Africa, and Central Africa. There can be some differences in the animals you’re likely to see as well as in the overall landscape in each region.
If you’re interested in seeing elephants, Zimbabwe and Botswana are home to approximately 80% of the elephants in South Africa; whereas, East Africa is home to herds of wildebeests and zebras.
How to Choose Your African Safari
There are numerous options when it comes to choosing a safari, so it’s important to understand how these various options differ from one another. You can choose from basic lodging to luxury accommodations. You’ll also find family safaris, bush camp safaris, and lodge safaris.
Family Safari – Kids will love seeing the animals and many tours cater to families with children. Of course, when planning a family safari, it’s important to consider the ages of your children. Kids under the age of 8 might not be quite ready for this type of adventure. If you have any doubts, talk with your tour operator about the age appropriateness of their particular tours.
Bush Camp Safari – This is the type of experience that most people envision when thinking about an African safari. You’ll be able to sleep in a canvas tent with a range of amenities from the luxurious to the bare minimum. These camps can be either mobile or stationary. Of course, camping out can help add to the excitement and adventure of your African safari.
Lodge Safari – Lodge safaris offer the comfort of traditional beds with modern conveniences. Lodges can range from a large central lodge to small individual cabins with their own private bathrooms. During the course of your safari you will generally move from one lodge to another.
Before You Go
Once you’ve picked your safari, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared. It’s a good idea to visit your doctor and discuss your plans. Your doctor will be able to inform you regarding any vaccinations you might need as well as ensure you’re in good physical condition. Keep in mind, some countries might require a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate. Purchasing travel insurance is also an excellent idea.
An African safari can definitely be an exciting experience. In order to get the most from your tour, be sure to do some research. You’ll want to pick the tour that best meets your expectations. It’s also important to make sure that you’re prepared for this unique travel experience.